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Kohanga in crisis


(Yvonne Tahana, NZHerald) A Waitangi Tribunal report says 3000 kohanga reo infants and toddlers are facing a crisis because their buildings aren’t up to code, threatening 172 centres across the country.

  • Click here for the Kohanga Website

The warning comes in Matua Rautia, the report on the Kohanga Reo National Trust claim, which was heard under urgency this year. It alleged wide-ranging breaches of the Treaty.

The trust said the Crown had effectively assimilated the kohanga reo movement into its early childhood education regime.

The trust wanted a complete cut from the Education Ministry.

However, tribunal members, led by the presiding officer, Maori Land Court deputy chief judge Caren Fox, did not call for that outright.

The report found the Crown’s early childhood education system had failed to adequately sustain the specific needs of kohanga reo as an environment for language transmission and whanau development. These failures constituted breaches of the Treaty principles of partnership and equity.

It recommended the Crown urgently consider a “more appropriate regulatory and licensing framework” specific to kohanga, without explaining what that might look like.

It identified funding as a serious problem. Salary costs are around 70 to 75 per cent of overall service costs but the institutions have struggled to offer equivalent rates of pay as teacher-led centres because they can not access the same funding rates.

The shortfall in investment has led to a depressed building stock.

The Maori development ministry, Te Puni Kokiri, identified 172 kohanga reo, one-third of the total, that may not meet a November 2014 deadline to comply new regulations.

The centres may have to shut their doors, potentially affecting 3000 children.

“In our view, the Crown must act to avoid the looming disaster in the ability of kohanga reo to function.”


- An independent adviser to oversee implementation of report recommendations.

- A policy framework for kohanga reo, a supportive funding regime and a more appropriate regulatory and licensing framework.

- Crown should apologise for the failure of its early childhood education policies. Should also pay trust’s legal costs.

(4) Comments

  1. Dinz

    Well we must be doing something right, coz there's alot more talented Maori living here as well as aboard, other art work, music, kapa haka, haka is all around the world, because we are unique, and if other cultures wana try and make a mockery of us because of who we are, then let them because we have mana no matter where we go in this world, and we carry it proudly, whether its with a moko or in our hearts, because we can call Aotearoa our thanks to the many others who can't claim NZ as there own>>>>

  2. Mataatua

    Tautoko Jackie.... How ignorant can you be Snowflake? It is obvious that you do not know and do not want to know the real reasons why we all want to preserve, take back and protect our language, whenua etc because you are the oppressor. If you are Maori or of another ethnic group, then you have been educated by the coloniser therefore, believing what the coloniser has taught you mate. That is my view of you and any other person who think that Maori are in it for political, social and financial gain. Get your facts right. We have our evidence of injustices done to Maori in the 1800's (which caused a ripple affect of oppression throughout the generations - language etc) because the British elite always documented their wrong doings. Thank He Atua for the Treaty. Te Reo Maori is going to be around a long long time. If it ends in 50 to 100 years time, that's because your kind created the pollution and destruction of papatuanuku/tangaroa/ranginui's resources therefore killing human kind. As for today's sophisticated and technical world, I'm sure one of the world's biggest conglomerate, Google, did their research into how long or viable Te Reo Maori would be around etc before allowing the Te Reo Maori Google search engine to operate and be available to fluent and learners of Te Reo Maori. Aww is not fit for today's technical and sophisticated world, Arrgh ki a koe...

  3. snowy

    This whole Te Reo gravy train is just another part of the scam! To anyone who knows anything at all about the evolution of languages, it is self evident that only the fittest languages ultimately survive. Language is purely a sub-set of wider evolutionary trends which govern life on this planet. By virtue of the fact that Te Reo is having to be artificially propped up, it is clear that in time it will die out. It is not in existence because it is needed. It exists because a few Maori elite want to preserve the past for a whole range of political, social and financial reasons. The basic Maori language is not fit for todays sophisticated and technical world and the end result, in 50 to 100 years, will be that we will have poured a lot of money and resources down a bottomless pit and there will be absolutely nothing to show for it.

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